These last few posts have been about “Don’t give up” – on giving up a hard thing to give up – on giving up trying to get something – on don’t give up on life itself. Because it seems to me that – for people like me – “giving up” and not succeeding makes me a failure. That when I give up on getting up again, on understanding something I don’t understand, on anything that means I stop trying – even on life itself …I failed.
And there is so much I have failed at. I am always a failure. I don’t achieve what I wanted to achieve. The world tells me that – I tell me that – and I believe that – and that becomes who I am. A failure. One who will never be extraordinary because I can’t even win at “ordinary”.
But what is “extraordinary” and what is “failure” … what is failing … and why am I so quick to deny one and be the other?
To explain … I need to borrow some words. The words of someone I have never met. The words of someone I have seen only through a screen. The words of someone who, in the words I borrow, demonstrates this “giving up” stuff so well …
“Sometimes I get really lucky and I see a photo in my head that I can’t see with my eyes, just over… there. I take the photo and can’t wait to see it uploaded on my computer screen, and every time this happens I have something I can write about.”
I see a photo in my head that I can’t see with my eyes …
“To be honest, most of my photos are just photos, nothing at all spectacular, but even then, I consider them a “win” of sorts because people like me who have such limited vision aren’t supposed to be taking pictures and often aren’t supposed to be walking around in the places I have to walk around to get some of them.”
People like me aren’t supposed to be taking pictures …
I “knew” Don Merritt through his blog long before I “knew” him via skype. But I never knew he only had limited peripheral vision (and has had limited peripheral vision for decades). Because that doesn’t define Don.
I thought Don was just an ordinary guy. Just like me. Nothing special. Blogged about God in his spare time.
And then I found out something of Don. That he was a mover and a shaker. And then that he is a professor as well. And with a photography blog alongside his God blog. And he saw stuff in my writing that wowed him from time to time. Me just an ordinary guy and Don … all “that”.
Except Don doesn’t define himself by that either.
And something else about Don: he doesn’t see “ordinary”. Ordinary doesn’t exist in Don’s world. Don sees extraordinary everywhere – even in me. He attributes that to his relationship with his God.
(read his full post here: “Photography”, The Life Project – Don Merritt)
Now before you get all “right and wrong” – all “religion and God is bad” (or “religion and God is good – YAY!”) …
Even God can only work with what Don gives him. Just as I – with or without God – can only “work” with what I give myself.
Don gives a sense of wonder, a sense of the sacred, a refusal to be defined by this world – by anything of “people like me“. Don doesn’t see any of that – sorry Don! 🙂 . And “knowing” Don allows me to see that in me as well.
Just as I see Don as extraordinary – Don doesn’t. Just as I see myself as ordinary – Don doesn’t. And we all need people to see that (and tell us) from time to time. We all need those who see our “extraordinary” to brake the speed we define ourselves as “people like me can’t …”
In my case I believe God Soft Hands Jesus is in you (and you and you) and me. And GSHJ wants only the best. GSHJ never defines me – never writes me off – so why should I?
And through my own journey I have come to learn and know that “love is always the answer, now what’s your question?”
Because Love looks for the extraordinary … doesn’t understand “people like me” … looks for the best … finds the best … and will never “fail” because Love never does – Love never can.
So just what is “giving up”? What I now know is this …
I always get to choose.